9 Short-Haul Family Holidays To Book This Summer

From Greece and Italy to Sicily and Austria, we’ve selected our nine favourite family friendly resorts for summer 2019 and beyond. These SL parent-approved spots will keep the kids entertained and mums and dads relaxed…

The Peligoni Club, Zakynthos, Greece

The Peligoni Club is a family-run beach club in Greece. It’s a members-only retreat for a fun-loving bohemian crowd who want delicious food and drink, friendly staff and a glorious setting, but without all the fuss that usually comes with high-end hotels. There’s no uniform accommodation on-site. Instead, guests are booked into a range of villas, cottages and B&Bs, either by the sea or in the beautiful hills of north Zakynthos behind the club, meaning you’ll stay in the best place for your family and can have the independence of a self-catering holiday. Peligoni is a place where teens can roam free, mingle with other guests and make their own fun without feeling like they are constantly being monitored. Whether it’s a 'Ringo Rampage’, a casual regatta or an evening dinner, teens will be made to feel right at home. New for 2019, there’s a dedicated activity programme for the awkward age category (those who haven’t reached their teens, but are too old for the kids’ club). For adults, there’s a luxurious spa, well-equipped gym and a range of water sports activities.


Visit Peligoni.com

Rocco Forte Verdura Resort, Verdura, Sicily

Verdura Resort is located in a valley on the south coast of Sicily, surrounded by orange, lemon and olive groves. Here, guests can swim a few laps in the infinity pool, take long, leisurely walks along the beach, play a round of golf on the 18-hole championship course, or retreat to the expansive spa. At night, guests can take a seat at Granita Bar in time for sunset and enjoy cocktails made using ingredients grown in the gardens, or visit one of the stylish on-site restaurants for southern Italian cooking. When it comes to daytime activities for the children, budding young footballers can take part in the Juventus Training Experience and water babies will love learning with professional instructors at the resort’s swimming academy. Adults and kids can practice their backhand and tee off in style at the tennis and golf academies, or try adrenaline-fuelled water sports on the Mediterranean. There are also karate and fencing classes too.

Visit RoccoForte.com

Eagles Palace, Halkidiki, Greece

Eagles Palace is a five-star hotel which combines impeccable service in striking surroundings. This luxury resort is only 4km from Ouranoupolis, one of the most beautiful villages in Halkidiki, and is a day trip away from Mount Athos. Children-friendly and family oriented, the hotel features all sorts of programmes and activities for children of all ages to enjoy and offers a kids’ club, a separate kids pool area, an adventure playground and approved babysitting services, offering parents the opportunity for some time of their own. The ‘Explorers Club’ provides a specially designed water sports programme for children between the ages of 5-13, through which they are encouraged to experience sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, paddle boarding, wake boarding, waterskiing and diving adventures under the guidance of certified professionals.

Visit EaglesPalace.gr

Gradonna Mountain Resort, Großglockner, Austria

Active families should head to Gradonna Mountain Resort in the south of Tyrol. A haven for skiers in the winter, come summer the resort transforms into a nature and hiking paradise. This timber Alpine resort is located on a slope above the village of Kals and offers unobstructed views of Großglockner, Austria’s highest mountain. At the resort you’ll find yourself at the gateway to the Hohe Tauern national park, where an extensive hiking region with 250km of trails starts right on your doorstep. Guests can experience unadulterated fun across the park, as use of the Kals lifts in summer is included. Activities available include tandem-paragliding, canyoning, rafting, climbing, inline skating, carriage rides and horse riding.

Visit Gradonna.at

Periyali Villas Simpson, Zakynthos, Greece

Periyali is located on the Vassilikos peninsula in a peaceful setting only minutes from the sea. This famous beach and conservation area at Gerakas has been named by the Sunday Times as one of the 12 'Top Beaches of Europe’, and its expanse of sand and shallow waters make it ideal for children. The Hatchlings Crèche and Turtles Club provide the chance for families to have all their individual needs met. The mood here is of space and freedom, yet within a safe and child-friendly environment. At any time, families can enjoy their own private villa, garden and small pool (which are spread out over three acres of mature gardens and trees), or be more sociable at the large shared swimming pool.

Visit SimpsonTravel.com

Villa Pia, Umbria, Italy

Villa Pia is an award-winning family villa in Lippiano, a traditional Italian town on the border of Umbria and Tuscany. The main house is a 15th-century country manor house, once the summer residence for a Florentine family. The large, rustic house and converted barn and stables, provide 17 bedrooms, all with private bathrooms. In the main house there are communal rooms for dining, and space for you and your family to relax and play games. Child-friendly facilities include a children’s swimming pool beside the adult pool (both heated all year-round), sandpit, trampoline, indoor soft-play room, all-weather tennis court, ping pong tables, plus a courtyard play area filled with small climbing frames, slides, toys and other ride-ons. The team also provides children’s cookery and art classes. Beyond the gates, guests can enjoy local Italian ice-cream in the village or discover Lippiano’s 10th-century castle and woods, which are perfect for walking, mountain biking and horse riding.

Visit VillaPia.com

Sani, Halkidiki, Greece

Sani is a family-owned ecological reserve stretching across 1,000 acres, surrounded by golden beaches, crystal clear waters and the magnificent pine forests of the Kassandra peninsula. Here, you can take off into the forests, soak up the sun on seven beaches, revitalise in one of the five spas, take part in a vast range of sports and organised activities and enjoy meals in a choice of 40 restaurants and bars. From toddlers to teens, you’ll find everything your children need to enjoy a fun-filled holiday. A well-equipped crèche is operated by UK childcare specialists Worldwide Kids who work to Ofsted standards, policies and procedures. There’s also a huge range of specially organised activities for teenagers. New for 2019 is the Sani Adventure Park, which combines an exhilarating combination of zip lines and challenge bridges between tree platforms.

Visit Sani-Resort.com

Martinhal, Sagres, Portugal

A beach resort set within a protected natural park, Martinhal encompasses a five-star hotel and a selection of luxury family villas. The whole culture surrounding Martinhal is family friendly and children are especially welcome. The venue offers a wide variety of services and activity programmes adapted to the needs of the different age groups. In addition to kids’ clubs and a crèche, the venue also offers guests the opportunity to pre-book complimentary baby equipment via the ‘Baby Concierge’. The Blue Room is a free and unsupervised leisure facility for all children – it is especially suitable for ages eight and above. Stylishly designed with a futuristic look, this is where older children can absorb themselves in the latest video games, or team up for more traditional pastimes such as table football.

Visit Martinhal.com

Costa Navarino, Messinia, Greece

Costa Navarino is located in Messinia in the southwest Peloponnese, in one of the most unspoiled landscapes in the Mediterranean. The venue is home to two five-star deluxe hotels;The Romanos and The Westin Resort; the Anazoe Spa, a 4,000sq m spa and thalassotherapy centre; two signature golf courses; over 20 fine-dining venues; a wide range of sports, outdoor and cultural activities, plus an array of five-star services. Indoor options at the cutting-edge sports and entertainment centre offer hours of fun for all ages and include sporting activities such as basketball, bowling, volleyball and five-a-side football as well as extensive areas for workout classes. Kids in particular will love the climbing wall, biking, hiking, kayaking and the Navarino Speed Experience Park, where adults and children can get behind the wheel of a brand-new CRG kart while the water slides will provide hours of fun for both children and adults alike.

Visit CostaNavarino.com

Anassa, Paphos, Cyprus

Run by Thanos Hotels – a family-run collection of five-star hotels in Cyprus – Anassa comes with a solid set of credentials. Located on the rugged west Cyprus peninsular of Akamas, the beachfront property sits between olive groves and white sands. Its 166 elegant bedrooms, suites and private villas are all arranged like a traditional village around the hotel’s four freshwater swimming pools, tennis courts, four restaurants and its award-winning Thalassa spa. Situated between the beach and the heated children’s pool, ‘Explorers’ kids club has a dedicated sleep room, kitchen, spacious indoor area divided into different sections for each age groups and a shaded playground. Local artists have decorated the long feature wall, making this a vibrant and fun space for children.

Visit Anassa.com

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